Horse Racing Best Bets, Odds – Sunday’s Picks for NYRA and Gulfstream Park

Three more Derby preps are in the book and we saw a couple of solid performances as we are now inside of two months before the first Saturday of May.

Authentic gave trainer Bob Baffert a major player for the Run for the Roses. The colt took the field gate to wire to win the San Felipe (G2) at Santa Anita. The colt is now perfect in three career starts.

King Guillermo pulled of the huge upset in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2), returning his backers $100.40. I was not one of them.

The favorite Sole Volante was my top pick and he came up the inside with a good late rally, and let’s not give up on the colt, who looks as if he will have no problem handing 1 ¼ miles in the Derby.

Mischievous Alex got the job done as the betting favorite in the Gotham (G3) at Aqueduct. The colt was stretching out from a win in the seven-furlong Swale (G3). I am not convinced this guy really wants any part of 1 ¼ miles.

Saturday did not start off that well as I got knocked out of the early Pick 5 at Aqueduct in the opening race of the day. I slumped in my office chair and let out a few expletives.

However, once my Best Plays Report got into the action, we reeled off six straight exactas, paying $35.20, $36.60, $15.60, $18.20, $25.60 and $29.80.

The streak ended with Walk in Marrakesh coming up just a neck short in the Florida Oaks (G3) to our fourth choice in the race. We added the exacta in the San Felipe for $18.60 to make it seven out of the dozen races.

Let’s hope we can keep it going on Sunday as we will head out to the Big A and Gulfstream Park. My Best Plays Report for Sunday includes my eight strongest plays from Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park.

To purchase my Aqueduct and Best Plays Reports for Sunday click here.

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Here is the opening race from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:

AQU Race 1 Md Sp Wt (1:30 ET)
#3 Tonal Vision 5-2
#2 Halo City 1-1
#1 High Opinion / 1a Dare to Try 9-2
#7 Sky Queen 8-1

Analysis: Tonal Vision
makes her third career start here for the Casse barn. The filly made a mild late bid to check in third in her debut, then was fourth last out but her number did improve, and she was beaten just two lengths in her local debut. Looks like the stretch out to a mile her should suit her. She was a $95,000 Keeneland purchase, by Tonalist out of a Defrere mare that ash dropped three winners, top earner stake winner Geothermal ($340,314).

Halo City has three straight runner up finishes, last out a tough neck loss going seven furlongs over a wet track here. She was a game second two back in her lone trip at a mile. She stretches back out to a mile here for the Duggan barn and her last three numbers are higher than our top pick's best, but she is going to be a puny price and our top pick just may have a bit more upside.

WIN: #3 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 2,3 / 1,2,3,7
TRI: 2,3 / 1,2,3,7 / 1,2,3,5,7

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Gulfstream Park:

GP Race 7 Md Sp Wt (3:39 ET)
#10 Ocean Air 9-2
#9 Ocala 10-1
#1 Bajan Girl 3-1
#7 Let Them Eat Cake 15-1

Analysis: Ocean Air
debuts for the Clement barn that is 26% winners (with a +ROI) with first time starters. The filly is by English Channel out of an Invincible Spirit mare that has dropped one foal to race, a turf winner. A light looking work tab at Payson but this barn tends to have them ready to go and this gal has an appealing turf pedigree.

Ocala is a $250,000 Ocala purchase making her debut for the Casse barn that is 15% winners with first timers. She is by Orb out of a More Than Ready mare that has dropped four foals to race with three winners, top turf winners, top earner stakes winner Race Day ($748,000). Solid works at Palm Meadows including a gate drill on March 3. This gal looks ready to go.

WIN: #10 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 9,10 / 1,7,9,10
TRI: 9,10 / 1,7,9,10 / 1,7,8,9,10

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 8 Alw $70,000N1X (4:59 ET)
#3 Palomita 3-1
#4 Aunt Babe 5-2
#7 Sadie Lady 7-5
#2 Excess Capacity 4-1

Analysis: Palomita
came off a nine-month layoff last out where she faced winners for the first time. She prompted the early pace and ran out of gas, tiring to finish sixth. The winner Gypsy Janie came back to Alw-2 optional claimers in her next outing on Feb. 20. She graduated in the mud two back last April at Keeneland in her second career start, drawing off to win by four lengths. She should be tighter second off the bench for the Brown barn that is 22% winners with runners making their second start off a +180-day layoff.

Aunt Babe was beaten just a nose two back by Gypsy Janie and then came back last out where she made a mild late run to finish fourth, beaten 3 1/2 lengths as the beaten favorite. She has come up short a few too many times at this condition but she comes in here in pretty good form and is going to get a good pace set up as there is plenty of early speed signed up.

WIN: #3 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 3,4 / 2,3,4,7
TRI: 3,4 / 2,3,4,7 / 2,3,4,5,7

Live Longshots:
These are price plays for exotic players looking to find a couple of extra contenders to use in their trifecta and superfecta wagers. Or for those with smaller bankrolls, you might want to get in a small win-place wager.

R1: #7 Sky Queen 8-1
R3: #2 Espresso Shot 8-1
R6: #4 Beta 8-1
R7: #9 Moneymeister 8-1
R9: #8 Annoula 8-1
R9: #6 Happy Hill Lil 12-1

Good luck today!